Looking like a scene out of a disaster movie, cleaners in hazmat suits entered the 7-11 in Ladysmith Friday.
They arrived to thoroughly sanitize the entire store after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
“It’s unnerving. I buy my lottery tickets here. I get my gas here. Always have for the last 15 years,” said Ian Grant, a Ladysmith resident.
Grant believes he’s okay but 7-11 is warning customers who visited the store between March 5th and 11th to monitor their health and contact a healthcare provider if they’re concerned.
“I’m healthy as far as I know,” said Grant. “It’s now March the 20th and I’m fine.”
This is at least the second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Ladysmith. Another case was identified five days ago, though publicly not linked with Ladysmith at the time. It led to the closure of the local Boys and Girls Club.
“We had information from a parent that she’d been in close contact with someone who had tested positive so she called us on Sunday evening and we decided at 9 o’clock that evening that in the interests of our staff and our kids to, with the social isolation going on, to just close our club for the two weeks,” said Karen Love, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island.
Since then the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island has decided to close all their clubs, impacting more than 11-hundred children.
Ladysmith’s mayor says it should come as no surprise COVID-19 is circulating in the community.
“Whether they’ve been rumours facts or confirmed cases that we have in the community has to be a wake-up call to people,” said Aaron Stone, Ladysmith’s Mayor.
“I think we see it on the street. Even those of us that are out today are out to do very specific business. We’re maintaining social distance.”
7-11 says it’s asked staff to self-isolate for 14 days and the store is slated to reopen April 2.
This comes as BC’s Health officer ordered an end to restaurant dining.